A showstopping cliffhanger on 'American Idol'

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ByBob Monek via OTRC logo
Monday, March 29, 2021
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NEW YORK -- Night one of the Showstopper round of 'American Idol' ended with a cliffhanger involving two contestants.

More on the cliffhanger in a moment.

Alyssa Wray became the first contestant to earn a spot in the top 24 during the "Showstopper" round of "American Idol."

The 18-year-old music theater major at Northern Kentucky University with an amazing performance of "I'm Here" from "The Color Purple."

This round features a live band and a virtual Lionel Richie due to possible COVID-19 exposure.

Chicago's Jason Warrior exploded with passion delivering a powerful rendition of "Believer" by Imagine Dragons.

"That's what you should do when you are out here fighting for your life," Luke Bryan said.

All of the judges were believers after that show-stopping performance!

"My passion has always been music ever since I was a kid, you know growing up on the South Side of Chicago in a church. As I say, you can take the boy out of Chicago but you can't take the Chicago out of the boy," the 25-year-old music teacher told WLS before the show.

"Now that you're in the class of 24, what are you going to do next week?" asked Lionel Ritchie.

Alex Miller's journey came to an end after performing "Silver Wings" by Merle Haggard as the judges urged him to expand his musical horizons.

"I don't think it's the end of anything. I think it's only the beginning of things," he said.

And it is the beginning of something new as Luke Bryan kept his promise to get Alex a shot at performing at the Grand Ole Opry.

Andrea Valles, 23, of Katy, Texas made the top 24 with a stirring performance of "Blinding Lights" by The Weeknd.

Apple Valley, California native Chayce Beckham admitted he might have picked the wrong song for his Showstopper.

"Showstopper was not your finest moment," Katy Perry said. "Now was the time to play the ace.

Despite that, Beckham earned a spot in the top 24.

Caleb Kennedy, who's only 16 but sounds like a well-traveled man, had a gut feeling at the last moment to play an original song for his Showstopper.

The judges told him that the song was good, but his audition song was much better.

"I think when you really get smart about that, the sky will be the limit for you," Luke Bryan said. "Remember, you're 16. You're gonna write some good songs and some songs that aren't great."

Caleb is moving on to the round of 24.

The traveling street performer, Murphy, also performed an original song. He has a harrowing backstory, losing both parents at a young age and slowly losing his sight. He's half-blind now.

Murphy has repeatedly impressed the judges, but he reached a heart-breaking end to his 'Idol' journey.

"You delivered the present to us on your birthday," Katy Perry said after his Showstopper performance. "What you've shown us is so beautiful."

Other contestants who did not advance included Amanda Mena and Anthony Guzman.

Wyatt Pike may be an "out of left field" performer but his commanding voice landed him a spot in the top 24.

Cassandra Coleman gave her best performance so far to advance to the class of 24.

"You hold something really unique, something really powerful. You are very pure," Katy Perry said. "Study your heroes because you're about to be one of them."

Cassandra, who performs in her bare feet but has been taking baby steps with her on-stage presence, promised to do some dancing in the next round!

Katy Perry told Beane that she wanted to see his diamonds in the Showstopper round, and the contestant who emerged as the "modern Mister Rogers" during his audition delivered with his performance of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On?"

"I think I sang the song from my soul and from my heart," he said.

Hannah Everhart may be from a small town in Mississippi, but she continues to big-time impress crushing it into the top 24 with "Wrecking Ball."

Graham DeFranco from Rockwell, Texas dedicated his performance to his dad, who was diagnosed with stomach cancer right before Graham's Idol journey began.

He's headed to the top 24.

The final two performances left the audience on the edge of their seats.

Alanis Sophia performed "Uninvited" by her namesake, Alanis Morrissette.

The 19-year-old Florida contestant sang with an emotion and intensity that seemed to wow the judges.

"Every time you show up to the party, you surprise us," Luke Bryan said.

Meanwhile, Luke suggested 15-year-old Casey Bishop could be the next American Idol during her audition but is her powerful voice enough to push her through to the next round?

Casey performed "She Talks To Angels" by The Black Crowes.

But did either one advance?

That's the cliffhanger.

You'll have to watch "American Idol" Monday night to find out whether Alanis and Casey make it to the class of 24! And if you are counting, 10 slots were filled on Sunday night.

You can see every performance on American Idol's YouTube channel and watch the full episodes anytime on Hulu.